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Hi! I'm Laura, a 23-year-old millennial girl discovering who I am by sharing my life experiences on my blog. You'll find me writing about me discovering my personal style, my growing wanderlust or giving any sort of style, uni or mental health advice.

If you ever have any questions, notes or other things that you want to know, feel free to email me

From July 2012 all items marked with a (*) are gifted items or PR samples. Posts on this blog may contain affiliate links or sponsored content. Please read my disclaimer for more details.

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I am not a skincare specialist. This plan of action works for me, but it might not work for your. Please read my disclaimer at the end of this post.

At the end of May/beginning of June my taste buds once again fell in love with soy yoghurt. I have avoided eating yoghurt for about five years now as I have read time and time again that dairy is a big no-no when you have acne prone skin. Because I was slowly starting to get back into eating healthy but quick and easy breakfasts again, I soon came back to my beloved soy yoghurt bowls. I love to eat yoghurt in the morning and soy seemed like the perfect alternative to dairy. But even though my taste buds fell in love with my soy yoghurt bowls, my skin (and probably my gut) did not love the amount of soy I consumed at all. I starting having a couple more spots at the beginning of June, but a major breakout caught me off guard in the second week of June. And I am still trying to clear that breakout.

I had a huge breakout on my chin and my lower cheeks and couldn’t find the source of it. I hadn’t used any new skincare or makeup products. I had actually not used any makeup in the beginning of June at all, which made me question my breakout even more. The second thing that came to mind was a hormonal breakout, which is what this looked like. It’s quite normal for me to have a hormonal breakout during ‘that time of the month’, but it wasn’t that time of the month either, so it just wasn’t adding up. The only thing ‘different’ in my day-to-day life, was adding soy yoghurt into my routine. So on a Wednesday evening in June I started to Google if there is a connection between soy yoghurt and acne. Surprise, surprise; there is a connection between the both of them. I read online that soy can cause hormonal imbalances that can lead to acne breakouts. To me everything just clicked right then and there. I was having a really horrible hormonal breakout because I was eating soy yoghurt. So as of that Wednesday evening I cut out anything soy-related in my diet hoping my acne would be gone within a couple of days.

Reduce and avoid stress

It didn’t go away within a couple of days though. It only seemed to get worst and worst as the days and weeks went by. I remember going to my mum and telling her that I just didn’t understand. I ate right, I drank lots of water, took care of my face, didn’t pick my pimples… Why was my skin not clearing up? Obviously frustration led to much more stress, as I was SO annoyed that my skin didn’t seem to clear up. Stress is one of the WORST things that can happen to your body. It produces more cortisol inside of your body, which is bad for your body and can also make your breakouts worst. The first thing I needed to do was to reduce my stress levels. I did some research on Google, again – where would we be without it... And negative stress apparently produces more cortisol, which is super bad for you as you can gain weight and make you breakout. So how can you reduce stress you ask? Obviously by meditation, yoga or any other form of exercise, having a healthy and balanced diet. Sure I did all of it but it wasn’t having any sort of effect on my skin.

I then stumbled upon an article on how to reduce cortisol in your body, which peaked my interest. In that article it also said that caffeine can actually stimulate your cortisol production, which means that my two cups of coffee in the morning were actually feeding into my cortisol production. Of course I was guessing at this point, but I was so desperate for clear skin, which is why I cut out coffee and diet coke from my routine completely. I went back to drinking tea, and I am still avoiding caffeine as much as possible to this day.

Back to basics: cut down your skincare routine

The next thing I knew I needed to do is to take a step back from all the new things I had been trying on my skin such as a new Vitamin C serum and a moisturizer that had been gifted to me. Sometimes too many products can also be the cause of your breakout, so whenever I am experiencing one, I go back to a super basic routine I know works for me. This means I only use my cleanser, a calming toner, a moisturizer and my SPF. There are a couple of brands I know work for my breakouts, such as La Roche-Posay and Clinique.

Take your vitamins

Once you are going through a breakout there are high chances it has to do with something in your gut or a lack of vitamins. Which is why I always go back to religiously taking my vitamins every day. I use probiotics to help with my gut and take fish oil because it has so many amazing benefits for your skin and everything else in general. Vitamin A, B3 and B5 are supposed to be really good to, especially if you suffer from acne, but I am yet to give these a go.

Knowlegde = Power

As the great Einstein once said: knowledge is power. Ever since the end of high school my breakouts seemed to get worse, which is why I started to look more into it. One of my main resources for anything skin related is Caroline Hirons. And what a great lady she is! She doesn’t beat around the bush and her cheat sheets are basically everything for me, especially when I have a breakout. I also like to go back to a book I bought last year called The Skincare Bible by Dr Anjali Mahto. Then I also like to read information on acne and skin problems on the webstes of Eucerin and Paula’s Choice. I am not in any way into physics, as it’s almost as learning a new language to me. All of these resources can really break down any difficult information on why you’re breaking out. This past month the beauty channels Mixed Makeup and Beauty Within on YouTube have really fascinated me with their knowledge on acne and skincare too. They are super informative, although sometimes I don’t completely agree with some of the stuff that works for those gals. Like I said before, knowledge is power, especially on what might be causing your acne breakouts, so prepare yourself to do some reading.

Some of my personal helpful products

Ok so, I would like to think that because I have read up on acne so much and so often, I kind of know where to look and what products to avoid. Over the years I have found that aloe vera gel really helps take the inflammation down. Aloe vera is obviously such a great plant to help with inflammations in general, but I absolutely swear by aloe vera gel. I have my cousin to thank for this, as she got me hooked on aloe vera gel as a spot treatment. I like to use the gel as the last step of my skincare before putting SPF on to help with any redness on my face. Make sure to avoid any kind of alcohol in the aloe vera gel, and try to get as much aloe vera gel in the tube as possible. Mine contains 99% organic aloe vera gel, which I buy from Holland and Barrett.

It was only recently that I really started to get more knowledge on Niacinamide, which is vitamin B3. I had heard about it, but had a weird effect from it because I mixed it with vitamin C. It caused me to have a couple of bumps, which made me stop using it. So I kind of had avoided Niacinamide until I watched this video by Beauty Within. I started using Niacinamide right after I had watched that video and within 4 days the inflammation of my breakouts had gone down, which I personally couldn’t believe! Niacinamide has incredible benefits to your skin and the girls from Beauty Within explain it super well, so I would recommend watching their video on it. It’s because of them that I started adding Niacinamide into my basic skincare routine and it has really helped my skin look less inflamed and helped stop any new breakouts from coming up so far. I honestly think it’s a bit too good to be true for me, and want to give the Niacinamide another month’s go to see if it truly has such an amazing effect on my skin, so definitely keep your eyes peeled to see if it makes it into a five favourites post anytime soon.

Ok so at the moment this is my plan of action for when I am breaking out. I really hope this was helpful for you and this will be my personal cheat sheet if I go back to having a really bad breakout again.

Some interesting articles to read and videos to watch:
Maybe dehydration is causing your acne: Caroline Hirons' Dry or dehydrated cheat sheet
Caroline Hirons' acne cheat sheet
Caroline Hirons' tips for spots on This Morning (video)
Caroline Hirons' cheat sheet for sudden breakouts
Caroline Hirons' spot cheat sheet
A link between nutrition and acne via Eucerin
Ideal skincare routine according to Eucerin
Foods that may cause acne
How to use Niacinamide according to Beauty Within (video)
The formation of acne lesions via La Roche-Posay
11 common causes for adult acne and blemished via Renee Rouleau, a skin facialist
8 tips to prevent chin and jawline breakouts

One of the main reasons I wrote this post is that I really hope that if you’re like me this might help give you some new insights into why you are breaking out. Acne is the worst. It can leave you feeling so insecure, I personally like to hide inside and avoid going out as much as possible. Acne can really affect your self-esteem, which is horrible. I am a big advocate of (trying) to feel confident in your own skin, even when it’s super hard. Just to clarify: I am, obviously, not a skin specialist. This plan of action works for me and I hope it works for you, although I can’t give you a guaranteed success. I still deal with breakouts and learn new things about them and skin in general every time I have one.